Recipes: Amritsari Dal or Langarwali Dal

I have been curious about this dal for a few months now, but the couple of times I wanted to make it, I didn’t have the whole urad dal on hand. So a couple of months back, when I had some on hand, I decided it was time to finally make this.

This dal is rustic and comes from the homes of Punjab and is also called Langarwali Dal as it is often served at Sikh Gurudwaras, especially the Harmandir Saheb in Amritsar. Made from two types of dals, urad and chana, this dal does not have too many spices and is usually slow cooked, sometimes overnight to make a creamy, soft dal that just melts in the mouth. But because we don’t have the time these days to slow cook it, it’s made in the pressure cooker.

Amritsari Dal or Langarwali Dal


  • 1 cup whole black urad dal
  • ¼ cup chana dal
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp finely minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp finely mined garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp ghee, oil or butter
  • 1 tsp minced green chillies
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium sized tomotoes, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves (optional)


  • Soak the urad dal and chana dal in water for at least 5-6 hours until the urad dal is soft to touch.
  • Wash the dal well and put inside the pressure cooker with enough water to cover it, add turmeric powder, 1 tbsp each of ginger and garlic and about 1 tsp salt and cook for about five to six whistles. Open the cooker when the pressure goes away and slightly mash the dals with the back of a spoon or a whisk.
  • In a separate pan, heat the ghee, oil or butter and when it heats up, add in the finely chopped onion, stir until the onions turn translucent.
  • Then add in the balance minced ginger and garlic and stir well.
  • Add the mined green chillies and stir.
  • Saute until the onions become a nice golden colour.
  • When the onions turn golden, add In the finely chopped tomatoes. Mix well and let the tomatoes cook until they become mushy
  • Let the mixture cook until the oil releases from the sides. At this point, add the red chilli powder
  • Pour the tempering into the dal mixture and mix well
  • Add salt and water if needed and mix well
  • Let the dal come to a nice rolling boil.
  • Lower the flame and let the dal simmer for about 5 minutes. You can simmer for longer if you want, and the results will be better.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and mint leaves, if you are using them and serve hot with rice, rotis or nan.

Note that the dal will thicken as it cools, so you may need to thin it a bit before serving if you plan on cooking it ahead of time. Also the dal tastes much better if eaten the next day, so it may be a good idea to cook it ahead of time.

Recipes: Dal Darbari

In a vegetarian diet, lentils or dals are a very important source of protein and most Indian households, especially those who follow a vegetarian diet try to incorporate some lentils in their diet daily. But then the problem comes that we end up eating the same three or four types of lentils daily. Fed up, a couple of weeks back, I tried a new recipe which was surprisingly easy to make and very yummy to boot. The addition of yoghurt and milk elevated the recipe and make it special.

Dal Darbari


  • ½ cup Yellow Moong Dal
  • ½ cup Masoor Dal or Orange Dal
  • 2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • ½ tsp green chilli paste or 1 finely chopped green chilli
  • ¼ tsp ginger paste or 1 inch finely chopped ginger
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 to 3 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala Powder
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi
  • 3 tbsp beaten yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp milk (either skimmed or full cream)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves


  • Wash and soak masoor and moong dal in warm water for about 20 minutes.
  • After that, add half the turmeric powder and pressure cook the dals for about 3-5 whistles until the dals are very soft and mushy. This can also be done on the stovetop.
  • When the cooker has cooled down, open it and whisk the dals until they become a homogenous mass.
  • In a pan, heat half the ghee and add in the cumin seeds and let them splutter a bit.
  • Now add the green chillies and ginger and saute for a few seconds.
  • Then add the onions and saute till the onions become translucent in colour.
  • Once the onions are translucent, add in the tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes become soft and mushy.
  • At this point, add ½ the red chill powder, the balance turmeric powder, salt and garam masala and saute till the masalas are incorporated.
  • Pour this masala over the cooked and whisked dals and mix well.
  • Add the yoghurt and milk and water to bring it to the desired consistency. Keep it on a slow to medium flame until the dal comes to a rolling boil.
  • In the same pan that you made the masala, heat the balance ghee and once it heats up, crush the kasoori methi in the palms of your hands and add it as well as the remaining red chilli powder and saute for a few seconds before pouring it over the dal.
  • Cover for about 10 minutes before serving so that the flavours get time to infuse.
  • Enjoy with rice or any flatbread

Notes: The recipe called for fresh cream which I substituted with skim milk. It didn’t detract from the taste and you can add in 1-2 tbsp of cream instead of milk.

Recipes: Methi Palak Dal

I’ve blogged about dals many times previously and here’s another one today. I had some fresh methi leaves and so instead of making it into a sabzi or kneading it into a dough for methi parathas, I thought of adding it to a dal with some fresh spinach. The result was a super yummy dal that kept well even when we had it the next day.

Methi and Palak Dal


  • 1 bunch of fresh methi or fenugreek leaves, plucked, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh palak or spinach, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 cup yellow moong dal, washed and soaked in water for 15-20 minutes
  • 1 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp green chilli paste or 1 tbsp finely chopped green chillies
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp jaggery (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste


  • Soak the chopped spinach and methi in some water so that any dirt gets to the bottom. Wash it well and keep it aside.
  • In a pressure cooker, heat the ghee and oil and when warm, add the cumin seeds. Let the seeds pop and then add the garlic and saute for a few seconds.
  • Then add the minced garlic and saute for a few seconds.
  • Now add the finely chopped onions and saute till the onions turn translucent.
  • When the onions are translucent, add the finely chopped tomatoes and some salt and let the onions cook.
  • When the tomatoes start to turn mushy and are fully cooked, add in the chopped greens and saute till the greens start to wilt.
  • At this point, add in the soaked dal and add salt, jaggery, red chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala.
  • Add in water to cover the dal, close the cooker and cook it for three whistles. If you are cooking on a stovetop, cook until the dal is completely cooked and the dal is completely dissolved.
  • Open the pressure cooker and mash the dal and greens together and switch on the flame again
  • Adjust seasonings and add water to bring it to the consistency you desire and when you are satisfied with the taste and consistency, switch off the flame and add the lemon juice.
  • Serve hot with rice or rotis or any Indian flatbread.

Recipes: Dahi Dal aka Yogurt Dal

I have been mulling about this recipe ever since I saw something like this on social media. And I recently got a chance to play around with this recipe. I had some leftover dal which was not enough to make an actual dal, I was saving it to make rasam but decided to make this instead. This is actually a very simple recipe and takes hardly any time to make, especially if like me, you already have the prepared dal.

Dahi Dal aka Yogurt Lentils


  • 1 cup prepared moong or toor dal
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup beaten yoghurt
  • 2 tsp gramflour or besan
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 dried red chillies, broken
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 1 tbsp kasuri methi
  • Coriander leaves to garnish


  • Heat the ghee or oil in a pan and when it warms up, add in the cumin seeds and let the seeds splutter. Then add the dried red chillies and saute for a couple of seconds.
  • Then add in the onions and saute until the onions become translucent.
  • Now add in the ginger and garlic pastes and saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Beat the prepared dal till it is a creamy consistency and pour it in and let it come to a rolling boil.
  • In the meantime beat the yoghurt well with the gram flour so that there are no lumps.
  • When the dal is boiling, slowly add in the yoghurt and stir continuously so that the yoghurt does not start stringing.
  • Add salt and sugar to taste. Add more water to thin it as per preference.
  • Crush the kasuri methi in the palms of your hands and add it to the dal. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or rotis.

Recipes: Panchmel Dal

I have mentioned before that dal is an integral part of Indian cuisine and this dal comes to us from the state of Rajasthan. I have been curious about this dal for a while now and when I finally made it, I had to share it.

This dal is usually made from five different types of dal, but you can play with the types of dal and use less than five or more if you want. It usually made from toor dal, moong dal, chana dal, moong dal and black urad dal. The dal becomes quite thick when it cools down so it needs to be made slightly thinner than usual.

Panchmel Dal


  • ¼ cup toor dal
  • ¼ cup urad dal
  • ¼ cup moong dal
  • ¼ cup masoor dal
  • ¼ cup chana dal
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 1¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp crushed Kasuri Methi
  • 3-4 tbsp ghee
  • 2 dried red chillis
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 medium-sized finely chopped onion
  • 2 finely chopped medium-sized tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish


  • Wash and rinse the dals multiple times. Soak them in hot water for a few hours.
  • Once the dals are soaked, drain the water and transfer the soaked dals to a pressure cooker.
  • Add ½ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp salt, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp ghee and water to cover the dals and pressure cook for about 6-7 whistles.
  • When the pressure reduces, open the pressure cooker, and check if the dals are cooked. Mash lightly and keep aside.
  • In another pan, heat about 2 tbsp ghee and add the balance bay leaf, the black cardamom, 1 tsp tsp cumin seeds and 1 dried chilli.
  • Saute the spices on a low flame until the spices start becoming fragrant.
  • At this point, add the finely chopped onion, and saute until the onions become translucent.
  • When the onions become golden brown, add 1 tsp chilli powder, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp cumin powder and some salt and saute for a while.
  • When the spices have mixed well into the onion paste, add the finely chopped tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes become soft, mushy and start to disintegrate.
  • When this whole mixture starts bubbling, add the cooked dals and mix well adjusting consistency as required.
  • Cover and simmer on a low to medium flame for about 10 minutes or until the flavours are well absorbed.
  • Then add the garam masala, crush the Kasuri Methi in the palms of your hands and add to the dal.
  • In a smaller skillet, heat the balance ghee and add the balance cumin seeds, ¼ tsp chillu powder and the remaining dried chilli and let it splutter.
  • Pour this tempering into the dal, add the coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or Indian flatbreads.